Eating Fabulously, Christopher Stewart, split pea soup,

With a slight chill in the air, my grandmother has already started the soup making process. I started making this split pea soup for her a few years ago, and as we can see it hasn't stopped. Recently I made some and I decided to change the recipe a bit. I realized that this base recipe is super simple and can be upgraded with lots of flavor in a lot of different ways. 

The classic split pea soup recipe is made with pork or a smoked meat product (yum!) and because I love meat, a classic shall not be tampered with. BUT, I did realize that my base recipe can be vegetarian and meat eater friendly. The vegetarian recipe kicks out the duck fat and still has that creamy flavorful and filling consistency, while the meat eater can make this soup using a smoked meat flavored liquid, duck fat or pile on some pulled meat for garnish. 
Either way you spoon it up, this split pea recipe is quick, easy and the start to a great fall season. 

Split Pea Soup (with Duck Fat ) 

1- 16oz packages of green split peas, picked thru and sorted

3 quarts of water or vegetable stock

2 small onions, diced

1 carrot washed, peeled, and diced

1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced

2c. half and half or cream {optional}

2T. duck fat

ground ginger

salt and pepper, to taste

On a flat surface pick through split green peas..discarding any tiny pebbles, and place in a large stock pot. Add in chopped onions, carrots, and desired liquid and bring to a simmer. Cook peas until they are soft and tender, checking them at the 30 minute mark. Ladle cooked peas and vegetables in a blender along with hot stock and puree. While pureeing lift blender lid up to release hot air to make sure that the blender doesn't explode. Pour soup in a pot and placing back on the stove over low heat. Simmer pureed soup over low heat, and stir in half and half or cream if using. Season with salt, pepper, and ground ginger, according to your taste.

Melt duck fat in microwavable bowl or small sauce pan. Ladle hot split pea soup in a deep large serving bowl and garnish soup with melted duck fat and fresh cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.

** Duck fat can be found in specialty grocers. Or you can buy a whole duck, roast it and skim and drain the fat. Store liquid duck fat in an air tight container in the fridge. Duck fat can be used to sear vegetables, baste meats, and also make some fabulous crispy potatoes!

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